Cathedral Catholic runs record to 40-0, reaches volleyball regional final
The set streak is still alive at Cathedral Catholic High.
No team has yet taken a set off the Dons’ girls volleyball team this season.
That translates into the No. 1 team in the state and the nation is still undefeated after the Dons swept aside rival Torrey Pines for a third time this year Saturday in the regional semifinals at Cathedral, 25-20, 20-16, 20-12.
Cathedral advances to Tuesday’s regional finals against the winner of No. 3 Manhattan Beach Mira Costa-No. 2 Chatsworth Sierra Canyon at home.
And the Dons, now 40-0, did all that with their best player sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs.
Senior outside hitter Julia Blyashov suffered a sprained ankle in the final moments of the section finals against Torrey Pines.
Blyashov, who is signed with Stanford, was last season’s CIF player of the year in the San Diego Section.
Every Don has been forced to step up to fill in for Blyashov.
“No one hung their heads when she went down because we had more work to do,” senior Noemie Glover, who had nine kills and a block against Torrey Pines. “We can still play some good volleyball, even though we really miss her on the court.”
In the first set, Torrey Pines closed to within one point at 18-17 of trying to end Dons’ set winning streak.
After a 4-0 run by the Falcons, Cathedral restored order with a five-point run for a 23-17 lead.
Jenna Hanes had four kills and three blocks while Noemie Glover also had four kills for the Dons to offset Kiara Edwards with three kills and a block for the Falcons.
The Falcons again challenged the Dons in the second set, closing the deficit to 7-5 before Cathedral took control of the tempo with a 6-0 run.
Milan Bayless led the Dons with four kills with Hanes next with three kills and three blocks and Cate Schnell with three kills and an ace.
The third set was much the same with the Falcons taking the lead at 3-2, giving it back at 4-3 before a 6-0 run had Cathedral leading 8-3.
Leading 17-8 in the set, the Dons were well on their way to the next step toward the state finals next Saturday.
Cathedral now owns three wins over Torrey Pines (27-10) by convincing margins — 25-9, 25-14, 25-9 on Oct. 18 and 25-20, 25-10, 25-19 on Nov. 4 in the San Diego Section Open Division championship match.
Cathedral’s set streak is now up to 97 without a single loss. As a reference, Los Angeles Marymount dropped just eight sets to win the state Open Division title in 2021.
Hanes led the Dons with 10 kills and 12 blocks but there a number of players with good stats, including Cate Schnell with five kills, three blocks and three aces and Milan Bayless with four kills and two blocks.
“We’ve had to use a few players to replace Julia and it’s still working,” Dons coach Juliana Conn said. “We can’t get down now. It’s next man up.”
Torrey Pines was led Layla Williams with seven kills and a block along with Edwards with six kills.
(4) Vista Murrieta 3, (1) La Costa Canyon 0: The top-seeded Mavericks were upset 25-23, 25-18, 25-8.
(8) Francis Parker 3, (4) Eastlake 1: The Lancers advanced to play at (3) Chaminade with a 19-25, 25-18, 25-23, 25-23 win.
(2) Exeter 3, (14) Helix 1: Helix’s championship run came to an end with a 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 25-16 loss.
(3) Victory Christian Academy 3, (2) Los Angeles Girls Academic Leadership Academy 1: The Knights advanced with a 25-16, 25-20, 17-25, 25-18 win on the road, advancing to Tuesday’s regional final against at No. 1 Los Angeles Marshall.
Monahan is a freelance writer.
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